Letters to the Editor

October 6, 2016
By

OPPOSES QUESTION 2

Dear Editor:

The Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts, the oldest organization in the state for retired educators, today announced its opposition to Question 2, the ballot question that would allow unlimited charter school expansion anywhere in the state, take millions of dollars away from successful local district public schools, and cause the elimination of music and art programs, increased class sizes, and other damaging cuts in the schools that most families choose.

“As retired teachers, classroom aides, and other educators, many of us have seen firsthand the direct impact of charter school expansion on our public school classrooms,” said Marilyn Frank, President of the Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts. “Every dollar lost to charter schools is a dollar cut from our school budgets, and that means larger class sizes, the elimination of arts, music, foreign language, and other enrichment programs, and other cuts that hurt our students. Our students can’t afford to lose any more to charter schools.”

The Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts joins a growing list of organizations who oppose Question 2, including the Massachusetts PTA, the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals’ Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, the NAACP New England Area Conference, Progressive Massachusetts, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, and city councils, school committees, and boards of selectmen representing close to 200 communities across the state.

“Dark money groups are attempting to mislead Massachusetts voters about the effect of charter schools, but Massachusetts voters trust local educators, not out-of-state billionaires, to know what’s best for our students,” said Juan Cofield, president of the New England Area Conference of the NAACP and chair of the Campaign to Save Our Public Schools. “We’re honored to have the support of the Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts in our campaign to defeat Question 2 and protect our public schools.”

Charter schools are privately run schools that operate with public taxpayer funding. Every time a new charter school opens, it takes funding away from the public schools in that school district. This year, according to state data, 231 local school districts will lose a projected $451,338,729 to charter schools, even after state reimbursements.1 That’s why more than 130 school committees across the state have voted to oppose Question 2.2

A statewide commission recently reported that public schools in Massachusetts are already underfunded by more than $1 billion, even before Question 2.3 If passed, Question 2 would allow the state to approve 12 new charters schools a year, every year, forever, with no limit on how much money a single school district could lose. This would nearly triple the number of charter schools in just 10 years and take away an additional $1 billion each year from our local public schools. After 20 years, local public school districts would be losing nearly $4 billion a year to charter schools.4

Local communities and their school committees have no say in the approval or operation of charter schools. The state approves charter schools even when the communities where they will be located are opposed to them. This has happened in Brockton, Gloucester and many other communities.

Save Our Public Schools is a grassroots organization of Massachusetts families, parents, educators and students. We are committed to ensuring equal educational opportunity for every child; less testing and more learning; stopping the state from opening additional charter schools that will drain millions more from public education; increasing funding to provide high-quality public schools for all children; and protecting local control over schools. Our public schools cannot afford to lose vital funding while we are seeing programs cut and activities reduced. Learn more and sign up for updates at saveourpublicschoolsma.com.

Save our Public Schools

It’s the people who make  Revere great

Dear Editor:

Here’s a story about a city that’s so great it should have its own television series.

My name is Rocky Raymond, the baby boy of Ann Raymond, born in Boston, but grew up in Revere and lived here my whole life.

It all started on Shirley Avenue. My mother was a blue-collar worker and a piece worker who made paint brushes for Colonial Brush Co. in Boston.

I graduated from Revere High School in 1977. I started wrestling world wide in 1977 and retired in 1993.  I have coordinated 300 fundraisers in the area for inner-city sports, the Wounded Warrior Project, veterans, and many organizations.

Revere – what a great place to grow up. I remember Easter Sunday, great summers on Revere Beach, the rides, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and saluting the veterans at the Elks on Shirley Avenue.

The International Sand Sculpting Festival has become one of the greatest events of the summer, videotaped by Revere TV and the great staff led by Bob Dunbar, along with Bobby Driscoll and Rick Promisel, the man who holds down the fort.

Who could forget the Blizzard of ’78? Who doesn’t remember the delis like Schwartz’s and Harry’s, the bakeries of the past – Liberman’s. Now we have Luberto’s and Manne’s Bakery on Broadway.

The great mayors – George Colella, Bob Haas, Tom Ambrosino, Dan Rizzo, and our current mayor, Brian Arrigo. Mayor Colella’s famous line at the Council meetings was, ‘No, No, No.”

I commend Tom Ambrosino for building the new schools we have in Revere. He was like having Bobby Orr on your team. Mr. Rizzo pulled this city back together after the tornado. I thank Mr. Rizzo for the fantastic Harry Della Russo Stadium. Our new mayor, Mr. Arrigo, is doing a great job. Those are great men.

And who doesn’t like to eat? We have so many great restaurants such as D’Amelio’s Off The Boat run by Antonette and her son – the restaurant has great Italian food and seafood and Companion’s on Broadway.

Bianco’s Sausage has the best sausages in the world. The Marina at the Wharf has great food. New Bridge Café, run by Mark Mandracchia, has the best steak tips in town.

I am looking forward to the Taste of Revere and sampling the great foods from all the great restaurants in our city.

And of course, I want to recognize the businesses in Revere, past and present for all their support of my fundraisers. A good friend of mine, William Masiello of Designer Optical, has provided 35 years of personalized service and hopes to be around for another 35 years.

Businesses such as Vin’s Auto – my mother loved Vin’s father for his great automobile service to people. Bob’s Auto Body on North Shore Road never says no to a good cause.

Atlas Auto, run by Freddie DeCesare, has been a great and business for many years, often donating to worthy causes.

Manne Bakery generously made a birthday cake for Sal Santoro, a 102-year-old veteran, in recognition of the Wounded Warrior Project last year.

Everyone knows Jackie Gateman, a great man who donates the Wonderland Entertainment Complex for all my fundraisers.

And me, Rocky Raymond, the most famous and most humble resident, who can be seen on Revere TV Wednesdays on Empire Pro Wrestling, from 8 to 9 p.m. on Channel 8 and 9 to 10 p.m. on Legends of Pro Wrestling, and on Saturdays, from 12 to 1 p.m. and 1 to 2 p.m.

You can also google Rocky Raymond on You Tube.

Finally, I would like to thank all my supporters for their great concern to all the great people of Revere.

What a great summer of 2016 it was. “You better believe it!”

Rocky Raymond

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